Monday, August 17, 2009
It's better to be the Shearer than the sheep...
Michigan Fiber Festival. The one thing I look forward to
every year. This time I took my nephew Ray and his wife
Jennifer and the kids with me. We wondered around and
looked at all the animals and then went through the vendor
barns. This year we got to watch the sheep shearer doing
his thing. Its amazing. I've seen three different people do
this and I am no expert, but this man was great.
He grabbed a sheep out of the bunch and flipped it over on
its back and started the removal of the fleece.
First cut down the center and the sheep just laid back like
it was something it knew it was suppose to do. Or else they
are like turtles and when you flip them on their backs it
throws them for a loop. Not quite sure.
It wasn't a very good day for this demo. Very hot and humid.
Bet the sheep were glad to loose this wooly coat.
So after cutting down the center and through the sides, he
came back up the neck. Sheep stayed still.
A couple of passes sround the head. I remember reading
that before there were electric clippers they used shears.
How they kept from cutting more than wool off is beyond me.
Another observation about this man was that he didn't knick
any area on the sheep. No blood at all. Good job.
And there you have it, the wool...almost in one piece. He
rolled it in a cube and stuck it in a large plastic bag.
It's really amazing to watch and realize that this is just the
beginning of the process. There is so much more to the
hanks and skeins of wool we buy in the shops.
And excuse the pun, but sheared sheep are butt ugly!
Thank goodness for Adobe...so you don't have to look at it.
Tomorrow I'll show some of the cuter critters.